Last winter, I hurt my back. We got nearly two feet of snow in two days (one and a half came on the first day) and I was helping shovel our driveway. Then my husband and I shoveled our neighbour’s driveway, as her husband had a heart attack. In the morning, I shoveled a path in our yard for my dog, as the snow was over his head.
My husband had been in a hurry that morning, and asked me to feed my rabbit. So I went downstairs (he was in for the winter) and leaned down to feed him. I wasn’t able to get up again. The shooting pains went straight down my back, down my legs, and into my feet, knocking me over. It was horrible.
For the first time since I had started that job, I had to call in sick. I had been working there for four years, with a one year break in between, when I went to college. I had perfect attendance there, also. It isn’t that I had never gotten sick, but that it caused so much anxiety to call in sick, that it was easier just to go in.
At that time, however, I had no choice. It was taking me 2 hours to walk the (maybe) 15 feet to use the bathroom and back. Every step was agony, and frequently I got knocked down by shooting pains along the way. Then it would take a lot of time, and a lot of pain to get back up.
I was off of work for six days, and the pain was severe even when I was not moving at all. That was just after New Years day, 2015.
When I did go back to work, though I could walk, the pain was still quite bad. Though my job was both working the front desk, and housekeeping, I was unable to do the housekeeping portion. For several months, I wasn’t able to do any at all, and then I might be able to clean three rooms on an eight hour front desk shift (the norm for me was six, and the winter before, I had been doing twelve.)
Though the pain lasted so long, it was April before I went to see my doctor about it. He ordered blood tests, and a CT scan, but they only found a little bit of arthritis. Not enough to explain the extreme pain that I was in.
It was, as it always is, so difficult for me to go in to see the doctor. I am both afraid that I won’t be able to express myself well enough for him to understand what I have come in for, and fearful that by coming in, he will think I am a hypochondriac. So even when my symptoms are severe, it takes me a long time to go in.
When he told me it was arthritis, though my back still hurt quite a lot, I was afraid he would believe that I was lying. A year later, my back still hurts in that spot. It isn’t nearly as bad as it was, but it is still consistent.
Then I went to be assessed for Aspergers. I had actually gone to this doctor for the referral in December 2014, after many years of thinking I was Autistic. He was great. He listened well, and was very supportive. He believed me. My fears are not from him, but they are my own. I was terrified that people would dismiss me, or again, that they would believe that I was lying. (I am always afraid that people will think I am lying, though it is rare that happens – it is just that I don’t feel I am good at defending myself, or expressing myself well.)
Only everyone I saw from December of 2014 until the present have said absolutely “yes” to my having Aspergers/Autism, and I have received the diagnosis. I am still afraid, and still hesitate, about going to the doctor.
At this time, I am having a lot of pain in my abdomen. Every night, and some days, I am having a lot of pain and cramping in my right side. I have small lumps in both of my thighs, that started growing in October, and multiplied. I have taken ibuprofen so often for the pain that I am worried about ulcers. I have been on so many other medications over the past seven months, that I worry that these could be a whole host of (possibly) serious side effects that at the very least, I should have checked out.
Though I haven’t gone to my doctor since he told me about the arthritis in my back. Despite how real I know these pains and symptoms are, I am afraid I won’t be able to explain in a way that he will understand, or believe me. I am so afraid that my doctor will think I am lying, that I would likely die of cancer before going in.
I am trying to convince myself to go in, but despite a very strong effort to bring myself to do just that, it will likely take a few more months, and much worse pain, before I can actually do it.
I wish their was just a scanner, like they have in the futuristic movies, that would just diagnose anything wrong with me without my having to say a word. Until they invent that, I guess I will continue to battle myself to get the help that I need.